Topic: Media Research Center
The Media Research Center's Rich Noyes huffed in a Sept. 29 post:
Four years ago, the liberal networks pounded Republican nominee Donald Trump with bad press, yet he won the White House anyway. Now, ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts are giving Trump the same hostile treatment, but they’ve significantly softened their approach to Trump’s Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden.
Not only is Biden facing much less negative coverage than the President, he has received only one-sixth as much negative coverage as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton received during the early weeks of the 2016 general election when she was Trump’s opponent. Instead of criticizing Biden for his “hiding in the basement” approach to the campaign, the networks are rewarding it by focusing nearly all of their negative scrutiny on Trump.
Wait, what? Hillary Clinton got negative coverage in the media, even by the MRC's bogus, highly subjective "evaluative statements" metric that examines only a tiny sliver of media? Please go on, Rich:
In 2016, the networks spent less time on candidate Clinton (262 minutes, or about two-thirds of Trump’s total airtime), and there were many fewer negative statements about that year’s Democratic nominee compared to Trump. But Clinton still faced a decent amount of scrutiny: 90 negative statements vs. 17 positive statements, for an overall spin of 84% negative).
This year, Biden has received less airtime than Clinton garnered four years ago, and far less attention than his GOP opponent: just 148 minutes during the period we studied, which included the virtual Democratic National Convention. (Four years ago, both parties held their conventions in July, before the study period.)
Compared to Clinton four years ago, Biden’s press has been completely toothless: just 15 negative statements vs. 19 positive statements, for an overall score of 54% positive. Even though their election preference was pretty clear four years ago, the networks still managed to air six times more negative statements about Clinton in 2016 than they have about Biden during the same period in 2020.
Yet "Hillary Clinton gets negative media coverage," while true, runs counter to the MRC's "liberal media" narrative. So back in 2016, Noyes buried that inconvenient fact by loudly complaining that the media was even more negative toward Trump and didn't cover Clinton's alleged scandals to his satisfaction. As Noyes put it in a October 2016 post:
The results show neither candidate was celebrated by the media (as Obama was in 2008), but network reporters went out of their way to hammer Trump day after day, while Clinton was largely out of their line of fire.
Our analysts found 184 opinionated statements about Hillary Clinton, split between 39 positive statements (21%) vs. 145 negative (79%). Those same broadcasts included more than three times as many opinionated statements about Trump, 91 percent of which (623) were negative vs. just nine percent positive (63).
Even when they were critical of Hillary Clinton — for concealing her pneumonia, for example, or mischaracterizing the FBI investigation of her e-mail server — network reporters always maintained a respectful tone in their coverage.
This was not the case with Trump, who was slammed as embodying “the politics of fear,” or a “dangerous” and “vulgar” “misogynistic bully” who had insulted vast swaths of the American electorate.
So, to Noyes, the "liberal bias" on Clinton was that it wasn't negative enough about her. And Noyes also made sure not to put those negative Clinton numbers in a graphic in his 2016 post -- though he did this year, because doing so suits this year's narrative.
Oh, and yet again, Noyes refuses to make the raw data public. What is he afraid of? That the subjective fakery of his metric will be exposed?